Mayor Adams Relaxes De-Blasio Administrations’ Lobbying Disclosure Requirement
By Yehudit Garmaise
While many government leaders and other professionals are expected to provide “transparency,” by leading with candid honesty and sharing information freely with their teams and/or constituents, Mayor Eric Adams has, in several ways, shown that he does not feel he needs to keep residents and reporters “in the loop” about many particulars.
For instance, while former Mayor Bill de Blasio was generally open to any questions of reporters and often provided several transcripts a day of his press conferences, Mayor Adams often says that he will not “speak about private conversations,” and his administration does not release transcripts daily.
Now Mayor Adams has further concealed the mysterious ways in which lobbyists and other interested parties influence actions elected officials ultimately take.
While most lobbying efforts attempt to shape pending legislation, one common motivation for lobbying, City Hall lawyers said, is to influence land-use changes, which impact multi-billion-dollar real estate deals and often determine whether heimish communities can continue to expand and build housing and institutions.
While the former mayor was accused of not being transparent in certain areas, de Blasio did require his officials to maintain records of any meetings with lobbyists and make that information public.
On March 1, however, two of Adams’ lawyers sent out a two-page memo to City Hall employees that said that they are no longer required to formally maintain and file any reports connected with their meetings with lobbyists, Politico reported.
No reason for the new policy was provided.
Adams’ employees privately explained that de Blasio only kept lobbying records inconsistently and said that they decided to toss the requirement altogether.